Innovative Inclusion works with companies that employ or interact with Deaf or Hard of Hearing individuals during their course of business to create an extraordinary organizational culture that supports diversity, inclusion and communication through ADA compliant accessibility, cultural awareness, and effective communication.

Following the roadmap laid out in our groundbreaking programs, organizations are able to minimize risk and liability, while overcoming any specific challenges associated with providing communication access for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals in their business. Our clients seek to understand their legal obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, explore appropriate and affordable accessibility options, and discover the financial and social benefits of working with the more than 20 million Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals across the United States.

Innovative Inclusion offers ADA compliance consulting, cultural competency workshops for staff and management, employee training materials, and ongoing support services on a national level to ensure success for organizations that have Deaf and Hard of Hearing workforce or clientele.

Services

Innovative Inclusion offers state of the art educational and consulting services to help organizations establish effective communication with Deaf or Hard of Hearing employees and clients, maximize investment in human capital, and take actionable steps that demonstrate an ongoing commitment to diversity. The benefits of accessibility and inclusion extend to every level of an organization, enabling access to a wider customer base while achieving greater productivity and improving job satisfaction.
 

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ADA COMPLIANCE
CONSULTING

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CULTURAL COMPETENCY
TRAINING

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WORKPLACE ACCESSIBILITY
CONSULTING

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ORGANIZATIONAL
RESOURCES

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TECHNOLOGY
CONSULTING

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AMERICAN SIGN
LANGUAGE TRAINING

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CAPTIONING
SERVICES

Category Archives: Deaf Employees and ADA

Empowering Employees to be Deaf Aware

ADA CONSULTING FOR EMPLOYERS WITH DEAF EMPLOYEES

ada-consultant-for-businesses-employers-with-deaf-employees-01Nearly 15% of Americans report living with some level of hearing loss: this is 1 in every 6 people. Is everyone working at your company prepared to engage with those who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in an effective and productive way? As representatives of your organization, are employees empowered to provide reasonable ADA compliant accommodations for deaf customers, clients, or coworkers whenever appropriate?

Over the years, many organizations have learned the hard way that even one employee who is not ADA-workplace-working-with-deaf-employees-02Deaf-aware can unfortunately cost the company in both money and reputation. Police departments, for example, still fall behind when it comes to anti-bias training, as demonstrated by this recent incident in California where an elderly Deaf woman was violently thrown to the ground for jaywalking, or the 2012 case where the NYPD wrongfully arrested and detained a Deaf woman who was later awarded a $750,000 settlement, or of course the 2017 case of Magdiel Sanchez who was tragically killed by police in front of his own home in Oklahoma City. Major corporations can be held accountable for the discriminatory behaviors of employees, as Taco Bell, The Cheesecake Factory, and most recently KFC have all faced backlash due to insufficient cultural sensitivity training.

COMMUNICATION

understanding-working-deaf-hard-of-hearing-employees-employers-usa-ada-03The experience of hearing loss is different for every person: so there is no one-size-fits all solution for communication. Some people are born deaf and learn sign language from infancy, others get cochlear implants as toddlers and learn to speak and read lips, and still others may develop progressive hearing loss as young adults. Deafness is not limited by age, gender, race, or ethnicity. The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community is extremely diverse, and the communication strategies of Deaf/HoH individuals can vary widely based on a person’s background.

The most effective way to establish communication with someone who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing is to ask the right questions and let them lead the conversation. People who are Deaf or HoH live with their hearing loss every single day, and they are skilled at utilizing certain strategies for sharing information and receiving information from others. Simply asking for a person’s preferred communication method (and respecting their choice) is a great way to open up the dialogue.

CONNECTION

corporate-employers-ada-compliance-info-consultants-04Creating an inclusive workplace is about more than just being able to communicate; it’s about understanding the differing needs of people and having compassion for one another’s experience. Employees who engage in cultural competency training facilitated by members of the Deaf Community are empowered with the knowledge and tools they need to form meaningful connections. Training with Deaf consultants and program leaders, staff members have the ability to gain firsthand insight into the silent world of Deaf America, ask questions in a safe environment, and widen their overall perspective.

OPPORTUNITY

ada-graphics-notices-for-employers-businesses-ada-consultants-05A manager who is culturally competent may be able to spot hidden potential in a Hard of Hearing employee and offer the support they need to tap into their talents. Thus, by learning practical approaches to inclusion, the company is able to increase employee loyalty and see better return on investment.

A cashier who has participated in a cultural competency program might attract a number of local Deaf/HoH individuals to become regular customers because they are so confident and friendly interacting with members of this community. When employees have the training and tools they need to create lasting connections with Deaf and Hard of Hearing coworkers, employees, clients or customers, the company can begin to reap the benefits of diversity.

TAKING ACTION

Innovative Inclusion helps find new ways to establish an accessible, welcoming environment for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community at public organizations and private companies of any size and type. Click here to learn more about Innovative Inclusion Cultural Competency Training, or to refer a company for our training programs! We offer nationwide training from Deaf and Hard of Hearing consultants that can be custom tailored to meet the access and inclusion needs of any business.